West Africa adopt African Youth Declaration for Road Safety

West Africa adopt African Youth Declaration for Road Safety

Yesterday, YOURS, in collaboration with the UEMOA and the European Commission launched the African Youth Declaration for Road Safety with delegates representing road safety organizations from seven countries in West Africa. The declaration was officially adopted yesterday in Niamey, Niger (Africa) in the start-up meeting of the Caravane project.

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The Palais des Sport in Niamey, Niger was the venue where African youth leaders from Togo, Benin, Mali, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Senegal and Niger officially adopted the African Youth Declaration for Road Safety.

YOURS drafted the declaration, in collaboration with the Francophone organizations in West Africa. It was officially accepted, ratified and adopted by the delegates today, signifying road safety action for Africa. The African Youth Declaration arises from THE CARAVANE project within the framework of the “Youth in Action” Programme of the DG Education & Culture of the European Commission.

This document will act as the advocacy arm of the Caravane project that will be initiated and begin its 50 day journey across the seven countries in Africa on the 15th October 2012. Delegates will hand over the declaration to road safety decision makers, road safety ministers, heads of state and key actors in making roads safer in Africa.

Content of the Declaration – What the African youth call for:

  • Create in collaboration with all stakeholders - including youth, a national plan for road safety that put people first. Appoint a lead agency which has leaders responsible for its implementation and coordination;
  • Enact and enforce road traffic laws on the use of seatbelts and helmets, set speed-limits, and a zero tolerance for alcohol– and drug use in traffic and boost your investment of financial resources to make safer roads;
  • Acknowledge the importance of the involvement of youth in road safety by: investing in the development of youth capacities, endorsing post-crash care for (young) road victims and their reinstatement in the African society, engaging with young people in decisions concerning road traffic policies during the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020;
  • Provide safe and affordable public transportation options. Protect drivers and passengers with the use of maintained buses, which are not overcrowded and which are regulated to ensure safety;
  • Invest in safe footpaths, cycle-ways and crossing points, on streets with lower speed limits, particularly around schools and provide resources to youth non-governmental organizations for road safety awareness programs among their peers.

 

Why do we need an African Delcaration for Road Safety?
Road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death among young people (15-29 year olds) and kills more young people than hiv/aids or malaria. The fatality rate per 100.000 population is for the African region 32.2, while the world average is 18.8 fatalities.

Road users most likely to be involved in a road crash are pedestrians, cyclists, motor cyclists, and passengers. Road crashes cost US$ 65 billion in low and middle-income countries, exceeding the total amount received in development assistance. Against this background, we the young people from Africa and potential victims of road traffic crashes stand up for each other and ourselves and we call upon the right to travel safely to attend school and go to work, visit friends and family.
 

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Director of YOURS Floor Lieshout is handed a declaration in an official endorsement with Togo representative Otto Gunther


Casimir Migan from Benin said
, ‘The launch of the Decade of Action for Road Safety last year was the first opportunity for us to meet the head of state to discuss road safety and put road safety on the agenda. Now this declaration will act as the second meeting opportunity to bring road safety to the attention of our decision makers with concrete requests for road safety action’.

Maferima Kone from Ivory Coast said, ‘This declaration will be pushed in the Ivory Coast and our organization will work hard to have this declaration signed by decision maker in Ivory Coast’.

Sauleymane Altine from Niger said,
‘This declaration is not just for the Francophone countries and we know that this declaration resonates with young people in the Anglophone countries in Africa, we are united in road safety to make a wider impact through Africa’.

Today, the Caravane project will be officially launched in Niamey and you can expect coverage and a video shortly.

The African Youth Declaration for Road Safety is available to download in English and French in the attachments and we urge youth in the whole of Africa to pick this up and use it! Urge your leaders to follow it's messages and requests and lets make road safety a priority in Africa.

 

 

Attachments

African Youth Declaration for Road Safety English
African Youth Declaration for Road Safety FRENCH

Links

Caravane Website